I don't expect anyone to be able to answer this, but hope to be proved wrong. Does anyone know if there is a reasonably comprehensive source of old postcode data? I have data going back a few years and a fair proportion are codes that appear to have been been retired by Royal Mail. Has anyone has found decent source of such codes?

  • 1
    It would be easier if you add the year you want to find postcodes before or after of it. You said you have data going back a few years. But how many years before? :)
    – Tasos
    Nov 25, 2013 at 22:47
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    Well my data goes back nearly 10 years, but it would certainly be useful to know how people have tackled this more generally :)
    – geotheory
    Nov 26, 2013 at 0:06
  • It would be really useful to me to know a ballpark figure of how many obsolete postcodes there are to help me know how to tackle a problem I have. 10k? 100k? Going back 10 years would be enough! May 11, 2020 at 9:19
  • Found the answer to my own question: about 800,000. May 11, 2020 at 11:13

2 Answers 2


This site UK Data Service has historical postcodes from 1988. But I don't know if it is open data since I have to login. I hope this will help you :)

  • The link is no longer working. I tried looking for a new one in the UK Data Service site but couldn't find anything
    – apokryfos
    Oct 28, 2023 at 12:06

Postcode data is now available on the ONS website.

From that page you can download a CSV file which when uncompressed is over one gigabyte in size. One of the fields is DOTERM, which gives you the date of termination. It therefore should be a comprehensive source of data on retired postcodes.

Further info on which ONS postcode product to use here.

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